Angie W (26 Oct 2011)
"Part 1  Toast the Wine of Communion"

I was meditating on a main premise of Pre-tribers.  It is the verse-
2Th 2:3 Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, because that Day will not come unless first comes the falling away, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
2Th 2:4 the one opposing and exalting himself over everything being called God, or object of worship, so as for him "to sit in the temple of God" as God, setting forth himself, that he is God.
I believe there are at least 2 beliefs about the falling away.  1) it is the apostasy of Christians or 2) it is the departure of Christians
but I believe there is a 3rd, it is the divorcement of the Christians.
The word apostasy as we all know is the defection from the truth.  646 apostasia. The actual greek word used is feminine apostasia and means a writing of divorcement.  In Jewish custom, when the bride and groom are bethroed, they are considered married already.  This falling away (apostasia) is what is going to happen to a large part of the body/bride when Christ appears.  At His appearing, He will give a bill of divorcement to the adulteress and she will sadly be left to "wash" her garment in the tribulation.
I found an article rich in symbolism that stirred my heart about the coming wedding of our King and His Beloved


Jewish Weddings First-Century Style

 When a Jewish young man wished to marry a particular young woman, it was customary for the prospective groom's father first to approach the girl's father with the proposal of marriage.  The two men would discuss this possible union including the price offered by the groom for the bride.  If the girl's father agreed to the suggested amount, the two men sealed the agreement with a toast of wine. 

 The potential bride then entered the room whereupon the prospective groom proclaimed his love and asked her to be his bride.  If the young woman wished to be his wife, she accepted his proposal at this time.  The validation of the agreement made by the engaged couple was the presentation of a gift by the groom.  He offered it in the presence of at least two witnesses.  As he gave the gift, usually a ring, he said to his intended bride, "Behold you are consecrated unto me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel." 

 Arrangements were also made right then concerning the terms of the marriage.  A written contract listed the time, place, and size of the wedding as well as recording the dowry and terms of maintenance of the marriage.  This binding document called a "ketubah" was kept in the bride's possession until the consummation of the marriage.  Finally, this first part of a two-part ceremony was concluded by the toast of a glass of wine.  The whole ceremony was called the "Shiddukhin," or engagement.

   The Bible refers to the status of the prospective bride and groom as "espousal" or "betrothal."  It meant that the two people were committed to each other as much as a married couple would be.  The only parts of the marriage not yet completed were the formal "huppah" ceremony followed by their physical union.  This betrothal was considered so binding that the only way to break it was by an actual bill of divorcement. 

 The groom then departed, but not before he assured his bride with the promises of building a home for her and returning to complete the marriage ceremony.  He usually took a year to prepare her new home which often consisted of an addition built onto his own father's house.

 The bride was expected to remain true to her groom as she prepared herself and her trousseau.  She lived for the day of his return for her which would be heralded by a shout from the members of the wedding party.  The impending return of her groom was to influence the bride's behavior during this interim espousal period.   

 The typical Jewish wedding took place at night.  As soon as any members of the wedding spotted the moving torches signaling the groom's approach, their cry echoed through the streets, "The bridegroom is coming."  The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia tells us, "Mirth and gladness announced their approach to townspeople waiting in houses along the route to the bride's house."  Upon hearing the announcement, the excited bride would drop everything in order to slip into her wedding dress and complete her final personal preparations for marriage.

    Rather than the groom entering the bride's house, the bride came out to meet him.  The two, accompanied by their wedding party, returned together to the groom's home for the marriage ceremony.  Following the public ceremony, the newlyweds entered their bridal chamber to be intimate with each other for the first time.  After this union, the groom came out and announced to the wedding guests, "Our marriage is consummated."

     Upon receiving the glad news, the wedding party began a "festive" seven-day celebration.  The celebration lasted seven days only if this was the first marriage of a virgin girl.  During this time the bride and the groom stayed with each other in seclusion.  At the end of this time of privacy, the groom would present his unveiled bride to everyone in attendance.  The newlyweds then joined in the wedding feast with the guests.


Blessings and Maranatha!